London, UK and Paris, France – 13th December 2023; B2B payments represent $120 trillion in volume annually around the world but only 7% of this is conducted digitally. Helping businesses upgrade their payments infrastructure and get paid instantly, French fintech Aria is today announcing a €15M funding round to expand their deferred payment infrastructure across the platform economy and B2B marketplaces.
The funding round was led by 13books Capital with participation from Adevinta Ventures, Ankaa Ventures, Otium Capital and angel investors including Laurent Ritter (Purple), Mark Ransford and Guillaume Princen (former Stripe exec).
Aria enables any merchant, B2B marketplace or vertical SaaS company that sells goods and services online and offline to offer their sellers a wide array of payment methods and terms, and get paid instantly — all in a single platform. Aria is able to connect with B2B marketplaces, transactional SaaS platforms and ERP systems to distribute early payment of supplier invoices and offers deferred payment options for end-clients via their API.
Clément Carrier, CEO and co-founder of Aria, commented: “We have solved a big problem for freelancers and the platform economy but we have seen, first-hand, that businesses face a big bottleneck when it comes to payments. Most online business purchases today are completed by credit cards, while transactions via preferred methods for most businesses — like wires, checks, and online banking — remain offline and have to be conducted elsewhere. This is because the process is incredibly challenging, often involving offline quotes and invoices, multiple phone calls and emails, and long payment delays. Aria manages all of this complexity behind a slick checkout experience and makes offering flexible payments methods and terms as easy as using a credit card. The truth is that innovation in B2B commerce payments has lagged far behind the B2C space. We want to modernise wide-ranging aspects of how B2B commerce is conducted in the digital age.”
Aria will offer businesses a check out experience akin to B2C users and underlying this the embedded payment infrastructure will cover funding, KYC/KYB, debtor risk analysis, anti-fraud analysis, credit insurance and debt recovery. A detailed dashboard will provide a clear overview of their payments landscape.
Founded in 2019 in Paris by co-founders Clement Carrier and Vincent Folny, as ex-freelancers themselves they understood the pain of waiting for slow payment and uncertainty of income freelancers experience. Since launching their deferred payment API in 2021, Aria scaled up quickly to become the leading provider of deferred payments for the contingent workforce platforms in Europe. Aria is working with over 100 platforms to solve the payment gap between when suppliers need to get paid and when buyers want to pay for goods and services. Aria integrates directly into the platform’s systems enabling instant direct payments to suppliers across Europe and allowing buyers up to 90 days to pay for services and goods.
Over the last 12 months, on the back of growth in France and their UK launch, Aria has now processed over 0.5 Bn€ in payments for over 30k businesses and freelancers with invoices ranging from €500 to €20,000. Aria is supported by a €150m facility from several investors including M&G Investments to advance payments. Aria has partnered with Europe’s largest freelance platforms and marketplaces such as Malt, Brigad and Jump which are now being funded across Europe.
Clément Carrier added: “While B2B payment volume is 5x the size of B2C retail payments, only 7% of B2B commerce is transacted online. Aria replaces the outdated method of B2B payments with an online experience that closely resembles B2C. With Aria’s suite of tools, companies can process any payment method, offer flexible net terms financing, and get paid instantly — all in one online platform. Buyers have the flexibility to pay like they would on a consumer website, transacting in a few clicks.”
Michael McFadgen, Partner at 13books Capital, commented: “There is so much to like about Aria it’s hard to know where to start. Amazing team, exceptional growth, clear PMF across multiple verticals, highly capital efficient – they have it all. We’re very, very pleased they chose 13books as their partner for the next phase of growth and we look forward to supporting them.”
The team at Aria are on a mission to help fully digitise B2B trade by bringing business payments and financing solutions online and closer to them, reducing friction in the buying process.
Stefan Grabmann, Principal at Adevinta Ventures added: “Aria has developed a powerful solution enabling businesses and freelancers to receive payments on their own terms. We believe that the future of B2B marketplaces is fintech-enabled, and Aria is spearheading this transformation across Europe.”